A quiet Suffolk village, 1944. At 14, Gerald Haxton is a lonely boy who regards his stillborn twin, Jack, as his only friend. His mother, a famous children's writer, guards Jack's memory fiercely, claiming him as the model for her fictional boy detective, and Gerald, disturbed and unpopular, has no hope of competing. Playing in the woods, he discovers the body of his elder sister. She has been beaten to death and her boyfriend, a young G.I., is hanged for the crime.
London, 1995. As the country prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of VE Day, Gerald is nearing retirement. Obsessed by routine, he still talks to his dead brother. He thinks constantly of the past and his sister. He takes to following Mel, the twelve-year-old daughter of a colleague. A few days later she disappears . . .
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